Online adds new section to
KNOXVILLE – Tennessee Online is pleased to
announce a new feature segment to the web site called "Tennessee
History Classroom." This section of tennesseehistory.com features
in chronological order - by era - the stories of the noted men and
women who founded and help settle what would become the state of
Tennessee and those individuals who would rise to national
prominence. In addition, it also features stories on famous events
in the state’s colorful past.
Knoxville broadcaster and
journalist Ed Hooper - the creator and producer of Tennessee
Online – authored the stories featured in the classroom section to
help in answering questions received from visitors to the site and
as an aide to teachers requesting more classroom material on the
state’s history and heritage. The Internet site currently handles
more than 300 e-mails daily from students, teachers and scholars
studying Tennessee history and this should enable us to focus more
on speeding up our reply time to the growing number of public and
private schools utilizing the site across the South.
features will be added in the future and current stories updated
as more information comes available of the events and subjects in
the segment through archaeological studies and further research by
The section is broken down into three sections to
make navigation of the site easier for students and teachers. At
the end of most feature stories, is a section dedicated to updates
and source materials for students and teachers of Tennessee
history who wish to read more about the individual or events
documented from other sources.
At the request of school
administrators, photographs of the individuals will remain in the
Tennessee Trivia section of the site to prevent classroom
We hope you enjoy the new segment and
welcome responsible comments. If you encounter any problems,
please don’t hesitate to contact us.
click below to go to
Preservation Trust announces state’s ‘10
KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee Preservation Trust
has released it’s second annual list of the state’s 10 most
endangered historic places in Tennessee.
released the list this past November at their annual membership
meeting in Clarksville and it includes numerous historic sites in
the East Tennessee area.
"This year’s list," said Executive
Director Patrick McIntyre, "reflects the full-range of
irreplaceable historic treasures that make Tennessee unique. There
is a 200-year-old farm in Sevier County, Native American
archaeological sites in Chattanooga and the Alexander Inn – one of
the most important remaining landmarks associated with the
development of the ‘secret city’ of Oak Ridge. We’ve also listed
the Chisca Hotel in Memphis where the first Elvis song was
broadcast out of a real concern it could become the next
‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is not included in the development plans for
the South Main historic District. By spotlighting these special
places, we hope people will recognize their importance to our
state’s heritage and work to keep them for the next generation of
Tennesseans to know and appreciate."
The TPT is a nonprofit
advocacy organization and an affiliate of the Washington,
D.C.-based National Trust for Historic Preservation. The list, in
o 1. Tennessee’s historic stone walls, which
is defined as a statewide threat due to private development and a
lack of public awareness of their value. While legislation was
passed to protect the stone structures – making destruction
without owner consent illegal. People still rob the walls of their
stones to be used elsewhere.
o 2. The J. Allen Smith House in
Knoxville is defined as being threatened by demolition. The
Mediterranean Revival-style home was once the residence of White
Lilly Founder and Knoxville industrialist J. Allen Smith. The
Cherokee Country Club acquired the home in 1999 and slated it to
be demolished in order for the club to put in extra parking for
it’s members-only golf course. Some members of the Country Club
managed to get a bill introduced into the legislature last session
to allow them to demolish the home, but preservationists across
the state as well as Knoxvillians and Mayor Victor Ashe
successfully fought to have the legislation thrown out of the
session. It is expected to reemerge this session, but press
coverage of the efforts to preserve and the powerful municipal
league lobby are planning to fight it. The rare wood and marble
floor entry as well as the structure itself are considered one of
the best surviving domestic examples of architect Charles Barber’s
o 3. Gager Lime Manufacturing Company in Franklin County
was listed as endangered because of general neglect.
concrete buildings of the company the TPT says are significant
because of Egyptian and Gothic Revival styles used in the
structures. The company buildings are so unique that
preservationists are hoping to preserve the castle-like structure
constructed in the late 1880s and early 1890s.
o 4. The
Drane-Foust House in Clarksville is considered threatened by
demolition, even though the historic structure is located at the
gateway to Austin-Peay University and the Tennessee Historical
Commission funded a grant in the late 1990s to replace the roof.
Some school administrators, however, are pushing to have the
boarded up structure demolished. Preservationists and local
activists say the building is an excellent example of a
transitional Queen Anne-Colonial Revival dwelling and worth
preserving. It is hoped the university will find a use for the
structure on campus or will sell it to new stewards who will
restore the home to it’s original condition.
o 5. The Alexander
Inn in Oak Ridge comes in at number five on the list due to the
possibility that the 1943 guest house will be demolished by
neglect. The Inn provided housing to visitors of the Clinton
Engineering Works – Oak Ridge – during the time of the Manhattan
Project. The Inn is located on the National Register of Historic
Places for the role it played in the Project. The building still
maintains a high degree of visibility in the Oak Ridge Heritage
Area, but is suffering from neglect and the lack of an interested
party or parties to restore the structure.
o 6. The Historic
Mills of Washington County is threatened by highway development.
Preservationists say the structures are endangered by road
projects as well as residential and commercial development. The
three mills, which range in construction dates from 1778 to 1894,
were once vital to the communities of upper East Tennessee and a
part of the culture and heritage of the region. The St. John’s
Mill, which has been in continuous operation since 1778 is facing
a major problem with the Tennessee Department of Transportation,
who is proposing right-of-way improvements that would make access
to the mill more difficult for customers.
o 7. The Chisca Hotel
in Memphis is considered endangered because of demolition. The
Hotel, which has been owned by the Church of God in Christ as
their headquarters since 1971, could be destroyed if a downtown
redevelopment plan is put in place for the South Main Historic
District. The hotel used to be home to the Dewey Phillips radio
program, who, in 1954, became the first radio announcer to air a
recording by Elvis Presley. Preservationists say the building’s
square footage offers numerous opportunities for the building and
it should be included in the downtown revitalization plan now be
handled by Florida-based developers, who have spoke negatively
about preserving the historic structure.
o 8. The
Trotter-McMahan farm in Sevierville is listed as endangered
because of road construction and urban sprawl. The Trotter-McMahan
property has been identified by scholars of architectural and
agricultural history as one of the most important remaining
historic landscapes in the state. It is located in the Middle
Creek Community and has been owned by the same family for more
than 200 years – a record preservationists say is extraordinary.
Several of the buildings that comprise the National
Register-listed Farm would be considered landmarks in their own
right, including the oldest documented cantilever barn in the
county – a portion of which may date to the 18th century – and an
imposing gambrel-roofed, rack-sided stock barn built in the late
19th Century. The two-story Greek Revival dwelling built by Dr.
William H. Trotter in 1848 forms the centerpiece of the ensemble.
Within the past year, the construction of a six-lane highway
connecting Sevierville with Pigeon Forge has begun and, in effect,
will split the farm in two. Preservationists say the split will
lead to unprecedented commercial and residential development
pressures. The family hopes to maintain the farmstead’s core
buildings and insulate them as much as possible from nearby
suburban and tourism-related development. At present the
Trotter-McMahan Farm property remains the last intact farms of
it’s size in this part of Sevier County.
o 9. St. Paul African
Methodist Episcopal Church in Columbia is listed as threatened
because of neighborhood deterioration. The site has been a meeting
place of church members since 1870. While the church itself is in
good architectural condition, the neighborhoods around the
structure itself is rapidly degrading and preservationists hope
it’s listing will lead to a community-led revitalization project,
which will help preserve the historic black church.
Native American Archaeological Sites in Hamilton County are listed
this year because of private development and erosion. This past
year the U.S. Senate passed a bill making the National historic
Landmark-listed Moccasin Bend a National Park, but numerous other
sites in Hamilton County, with a history in some cases more than
12,000-years-old are being threatened and not included in any
preservation plans of the region. Recent construction of a
waterfall restaurant uncovered burial remains near the
Mississippian period Citico burial ground – destroyed in the early
20th century. Historic sites on the river such as Williams, Dallas
and MacClellan Islands are being threatened by gradual erosion.
Preservationists say educational initiatives, public-private
partnerships and coordinated efforts at identifying and
documenting additional archaeological sites throughout
metropolitan Chattanooga are needed to help preserve the Native
Governor dedicates new state
NEWPORT – Gov.
Don Sundquist formally dedicated the Martha Sundquist State Forest
– Tennessee’s first state forest dedication in more than 50 years.
The ceremony was held at the Hartford Welcome Center in Cocke
"This forest is a tremendous addition to protected
lands in Tennessee," said Gov. Sundquist. "Martha and I are deeply
touched that the General Assembly has recognized her contributions
as Tennessee’s first lady by naming this magnificent property for
Earlier this year, the Tennessee Legislature passed a
resolution, which was sponsored by former Sen. Tommy Haun and Rep.
Ronnie Davis, naming Tennessee’s newest state forest the "Martha
Sundquist State Forest." The resolution recognized the governor’s
wife for her work on women’s and children’s issues as well as her
efforts to promote conservation and beautification in
"Tennesseans are blessed to live in a state of such
natural abundance and beauty," said Martha Sundquist. "Words
cannot express how privileged I feel to know that my name is
associated with this beautiful property. I am very grateful to the
General Assembly for it’s support."
The Martha Sundquist State
Forest, which was formerly known as the Gulf Tract, was acquired
from International Paper Corporation by the state in 2001 through
the financial assistance of the Conservation Fund.
2000-acre state forest lies just west of the Appalachian Trail
surrounded by Cherokee National Forest. It includes the upper
watershed of Big Creek –a major tributary of the French Broad
River. The forest provides habitat for black bear and recreational
benefits include fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and
camping. The Department of Agriculture also uses the forest to
demonstrate sustainable forestry practices.
Sundquist State Forest is Tennessee’s 14th state forest and was
the first addition to the 160,000-acre state forest system in more
than 50 years. In august, Gov. Sundquist announced the acquisition
of the Anderson-Tully property in Lauderdale County – portions of
which became a wildlife management area and Tennessee’s 15th state
Preservation Trust’s 2001 scorecard
NASHVILLE – According to preservationists
with the Tennessee Preservation Trust, progress on last year’s
‘ten most endangered historic sites in Tennessee’ was pretty good
overall with only the Coffman House in Hamblen County and the
Dixie Portland Cement Pumphouse receiving a "no progress"
In order of last year’s list, the status of the
endangered historic sites is as follows:
o 1. CSA Train Depot
in Johnson City received a "Some Progress" grade.
o 2. Deery
Inn in Blountville received the only "Saved!". The Sullivan County
government recently awarded a Transportation Enhancement grant in
the amount of $828, 454 for restoration of the Deery Inn. These
funds will be used to restore the historic inn and to refurbish
several of the dependency buildings on the property site.
Coffman House in Whitesburg’s, Hamblen County received a "No
The Tennessee Department of
Transportation will widen State Highway 11E. While the Coffman
House is in the vicinity of the road project, TDOT will not
physically take the property related to the Coffman House,
however, damage to the structure may be unavoidable.
farm in Nashville received a "Some Progress."
o 5. Trail of
Tears, which is a statewide project received a "Good Progress"
designation. A National Park Service-funded study is currently
underway to assess and determine National Register-eligible sites
associated with the Trail and interest continues to develop. In
Pulaski, where two of the trails intersected, the Trail of Tears
Committee has brought together several local groups. The Committee
recently moved an endangered 61-year-old stone church – Mars
Chapel – to a nearby park for use as a memorial that will include
exhibits on the Trail of Tears and the forced Cherokee
o 6. Melrose School in Memphis received a "Some
o 7. Chucalissa in Memphis received a
"Some Progress" score. A new organization with the name "Friends
of Chucalissa" was formed to help supplement the annual budget of
the important Native American site. Although fund-raising efforts
are well underway, unfortunately an exhibit had to be closed
recently due to continued structural deterioration. The site has
long-been one of the most visited Native American sites in
o 8. Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Bradley
County received a "Good Progress" designation for the efforts of
community members in helping repair and restore the historic site.
Plans are now underway to begin restoration of the cemetery.
9. Dixie Portland Cement Pumphouse in Marion County’s South
Pittsburg received a "No Progress."
o 10. Robert E. Lee School
in Henry County’s Paris received a "Good Progress" for a local
effort to restore and rehabilitate the structure into an income
producing property, which is hoped will continue to pay for the
school’s upkeep and preservation.
Gen. Dennis Cavin says ‘Volunteer’
With the appointment of Lt. General Dennis Cavin to head up Army
Accessions Command at Fort Monroe, VA. in February, the Martin, TN
native joined Oak Ridge native Gen. "B.B." Bell as two native sons
who succeeded to Commanding General Rank in the U.S. Army this
Dennis Cavin was born in Martin, TN Oct. 22, 1947. The
Cavins had been a well established family in the community for
more than 100 years and owned a small family farm, where Dennis
Cavin spent his youth working the long hours necessary to help his
family make a living. Cavin attributes his parent’s teaching him
the value of giving his word, hard work, respect and commitment to
finishing a job.
Following his graduation from High School, he
continued his education and became the first in his family to
attend college when he entered the University of Tennessee at
Martin to study Agriculture.
"I was able to go to college
through a lot of opportunities that were given me," said Gen.
Cavin. "The opportunity to go to work in a men’s store there in
Martin owned and operated by an Army Lieutenant Colonel who
retired there to open the store and he kind of took me under his
wing and helped me. His early mentor passed away last April and
was buried in Arlington National cemetery with full military
During his time in college, then-student Dennis Cavin
married his childhood sweetheart Mary Brann, whom he met at a
church picnic while still in high school, and recently celebrated
their 34th wedding anniversary.
Following his graduation with
an Agricultural Degree in 1970, he was commissioned as an Air
Defense Artillery Officer. He told his wife that he would only be
in the Army for two years.
"I did not intend to make the Army a
career," said Gen. Cavin, " I came into the Army in 1970 and no
one came into the Army then stating up front they were going to
make the U.S. Army a career. We were in the middle of the Vietnam
War and nobody really knew what the future held, but after a year
or so in the Army, I discovered I really did enjoy leading
soldiers with the challenges the Army provided you. What I enjoyed
most was probably watching young men and women grow and develop
and to accomplish things based on your ability to plan and your
ability to resource them properly and your ability to execute
those plans. To watch them mature and get things done they
themselves thought they would never be able to do."
Cavin’s decorations and awards include the Defense Superior
Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters),
Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Army
Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Staff
Identification Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification
Gen. Dennis Cavin still describes himself as a farm boy
from Tennessee and carries a lot of pride in his home state’s
record of military service and is proud of the rich heritage of
service to America.
"Tennessee has always made me proud of this
state’s service to the Army and this nation," said Gen. Cavin.
"They are doing very well here at the University of Tennessee in
their R.O.T.C. program as well as in our enlisted recruiting. We
are doing very well across the board in Tennessee and why
shouldn’t we be? We are an all volunteer Army and this is the
‘Volunteer’ state. I use that frequently because as I go around
and talk to groups I tell every one of them; I looked at the past
records and I am amazed. The majority of solders who entered the
service from Tennessee were all volunteers and none of them were
drafted. It is a tradition that still continues to this day and
speaks well of the character of this state’s families and the
patriotism that exists here for this nation."
General Cavin and
his wife Mary have one daughter, Mrs. Brandie Costello, who became
the second generation to graduate from U.T.-Martin. She currently
Smoky Mountains National Park
GATLINBURG-Officials with the Great Smoky National Park
began their winter schedule last week closing some facilities and
reducing operational hours for some Park services.The biggest
delay for many will be the Newfound Gap Road Tunnels
Rehabilitation project. It resumed this past Monday and is
expected to continue until Nov. 26. Stonemasons will work on the
guard walls near the two tunnels and perform other miscellaneous
roadwork. Crews will be permitted to work seven days a week and
this will entail one-lane traffic closures. No work will occur on
This schedule should cause only minor traffic
delays and motorists should be extremely cautious and adhere to
the 15 mile-per-hour speed limits that are posted near the
During the winter months, the two main
roads "Newfound Gap (U.S.441) and Little River " will remain open,
except for temporary closures during extreme winter weather
The Gatlinburg By-Pass. Cades Cove Loop Road, Cosby
Road, Greebrier Road, Foothills Parkway (East and West), Upper
Tremont, Little Greenbrier, forge Creek and Lakeview Drive will
open and close as road conditions mandate.
Secondary Roads Balsam
Mountain, Heintooga/Roundbottom and Straight Fork closed last
week. Rich Mountain and Parson Branch Road will close on Nov. 14
and Clingmans Dome and Roaring Fork Motor Trail will close on
Park officials stress that anyone planning on
driving into the
Smoky Mountains National Park call (865)
436-1200 for an update on weather and road
Visitors Centers have reduced their hours of
operation. The Sugarlands Visitor Center is now open daily from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC
be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Cades Cove Visitor
Center will be opened daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. LeConte Lodge
will accommodate guests until Nov. 26, when it will be closed for
the season. Two of the three major campgrounds will remain open
year. Cades Cove in Tennessee and Smokemont in North
Carolina Starting Nov. 1, they will be on a self-registration
basis with a reduced number of available sites. Elkmont in
Tennessee will remain open through the Thanksgiving weekend and
will be closed on Dec. 1. Balsam Mountain and the six remaining
self-registration campgrounds closed last week.Six Picnic areas
will remain open through the winter. These are Chimney Tops, Cades
Cove, Cosby, Greebrier, Metcalf
Bottoms and Deep Creek.All
stables in the Park are now closed, except the Smoky Mountain
Riding Stable, which will continue service until Dec. 2 weather
permitting. All auto-accessed horse camps are now close as
East Tennessee native to head Army in
OAK RIDGE – Tennessee can add
another native to it’s long list of prominent military
The United States Senate officially approved U.S. Army
General Burwell B. Bell III on Oct. 17 for the top post in
America’s European command. President George W. Bush nominated
Bell for the command position earlier this year. He will advance
from Lieutenant General to general rank and take over U.S. Army
forces in Europe (USAREUR).
The 55-year-old Oak Ridge native
is expected to relinquish his command Fort Hood, Texas and assume
his new post in Heidelberg, Germany early next year. He will be
replacing Gen. Montgomery Meigs who is expected to retire at the
end of the year. Meigs has led the Army’s European forces for the
past four years.
General Burwell "B.B." Bell III is the son of
career Army officer B.B. Bell Jr., who was assigned to the
Manhattan project following his graduation from the United States
Military Academy at West Point in 1943. He worked for Union
Carbide Nuclear Division as an instrumentation engineer at the Oak
Ridge Y-12 Plant and the Oak Ridge K-25 Site until his retirement
in 1973. He passed away last year at age 84 in Kingston following
a brief illness.
Bell was born in Oak Ridge on April 9, 1947.
He graduated from Oak Ridge High School where he played football
and went on to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
and enroll in the Reserved Officers Training Corps. He advanced in
ROTC and decided to do four years in the Regular Army. During his
first posting in Germany, the Oak Ridge native decided to make a
career in the service. He worked himself through the ranks of the
Army proving himself an able officer and military professional.
He served as Executive Office to Gen. Norman Schwartkopz
during the 1990-91 Gulf War where he received a Bronze Star and
went on to serve as Chief of Staff during Operation Joint Endeavor
in the Balkans. During his tenure, he became regarded as an
officer who could get the job done.
In addition to the Bronze
Star, he has also received the Distinguished Service Medal,
Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with 3 Oak Leaf
Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, and
the Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters.
Bell’s posts have included Fort Knox, assignments in Europe and
his current assignment as commanding general at Fort Hood,
Bell will be the Commanding General, United States Army
Europe and will be one of eight four-star generals now serving in
the Army. He will be over more than 60,000 active duty troops that
are a combat ready force, including two armored divisions.
Although based in Europe, his new command is available for
immediate deployment anywhere in the world.
The possible role
of the European forces in any planned action against Iraq are
unknown, but is believed, after a solution is found to the current
situation in the Middle Eastern nation, the administration will
continue the policy of reorganizing the European command. Some
have said they expect Bell to be the best man for the task ahead
and have described the next few years in Europe as a turning point
for American forces.
Military officials say they expect some
changes to be made in America’s European forces and say Bell is
the perfect candidate to "facilitate any such transformations" and
maintain the strong ties America has with their allies in Europe
while such changes are being made.
According to those close to
the general and those who have served under him, Gen. Bell is
regarded as a tough, no-nonsense officer and a brilliant field
commander, who balances tough demands on his troops with a high
priority on taking care of their families.
Retired General and
White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey describes Bell as "probably
the best all-around field commander" he has known in his 32 plus
years of military service.
His wife, former Chattanooga
resident Kathleen Bell, have always made the families of soldiers
a top priority throughout his career in the Army and dedicated
their time to numerous volunteer activities on base to make life
easier for the families of servicemen and women.
When not on
duty, Gen. Bell stays close to his Tennessee roots as a hunter and
skeet shooter. Both he and his wife are also avid Tennessee
football fans. They have one grown son, Burwell Bell IV, who
currently resides in Tampa, FL.
War’s ‘Battle of Boyd’s Creek’
reenactment to be held Dec.
13-15 in Sevierville
SEVIERVILLE – The John Sevier Chapter of the
Sons of The American Revolution are preparing for their upcoming
"Battle of Boyds Creek" encampment and reenactment scheduled for
Dec. 13 - 15 on Boyds Creek Highway in Sever County.
reenactment commemorates the battle of Boyds Creek, which was
fought on Dec. 16, 1780 by then-Colonel John Sevier and his group
of soldiers who had just returned from the Battle of Kings
Mountain. Sevier defeated a large force of Cherokee Indians who
had attacked the settlers while he and his soldiers were away
engaged in the King's Mountain battle. The Cherokee were allied
with the British during the war and were used effectively by the
Crown in numerous engagements along the frontier of North
Historians would later call the Battle of Boyds Creek
"one of the best fought battles in the border region of Tennessee
and the only Revolutionary War engagement in the region.
two days, the reenactors will be encamped at the site and the
actual battle reenactment will take place on Dec. 15.
to the event is free for both spectators and those wishing to
participate in the battle.
Costume for the event will include
both colonial uniforms and wear often associated with the
backwoodsmen of the era as well as Cherokee Dress.
"This is a
first-rate educational activity for students and families," said
Mary Ann Clark, "and the event attracts more and more people each
year. The battle is always the climax of the event, but the
encampments of the soldiers and the historical accuracy in
everything from uniforms to camp gear is amazing. I hope that
there is a good Cherokee presence at the event. Their historically
accurate dress and encampments are probably one of the biggest
surprises to people who are still caught up in the ‘Hollywood’
image of Native Americans and don’t realize how wrong their
depiction of the Cherokee are. This is always a lot of fun for
families to attend."
The annual event is one that may local
reenactors like to participate in and enjoy the educational aspect
of it as well.
"We really have a good time with the encampment
and battle," said one reenactor, "and always enjoy the opportunity
to teach others about the battle and this period in American
history. Tennessee has one of the richest military heritages in
the nation and it was founded in this era of our nation’s
The annual Battle of Boyds Creek reenactment is free and
open to the public. Officials are hopeful that there will be a
great turnout for the event, which will feature a number of other
activities as well.
"What I find most fascinating about this
region is the vast history of it that so few of its own people
seem to know," said one local historian. "You have on Tennessee
soil a time-line that stretches from Hernando De Soto to the
French & Indian War to the American Revolution and beyond. Old
forts, camp sites and historical places across this state that few
people remember anymore and reenactments such as this help
preserve and keep alive the history of this region. We are seeing
our Civil War history preserved through first-class reenactments
and events such as this allow us to try and preserve the other
eras in America’s past that played out here in